United Indian Health Services, Inc. (UIHS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit health clinic servicing tribal people including the Yurok, Tolowa, Wiyot, Big Lagoon, Bear River, Blue Lake, Elk Valley, Resighini, and Table Bluff; in addition to Native people from all over the United States and provides services to approximately 11,848 current active clients. The SAMHSA Tribal Opioid Response grant is necessary to assist us in the planning and design of a holistic, coordinated systems wide approach to address gaps and needs in prevention education, treatment, and recovery services to support our population who are suffering from opioid use disorder. Our local American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) population have high rates of substance abuse, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), high suicide rates, and an opioid overdose death rate in both Humboldt and Del Norte Counties (which covers a land mass nearly equivalent to the size of Connecticut) that is over two to three times the opioid overdose death rate of the state of California.
UIHS will utilize the Tribal Opioid Response funding to serve as a catalyst to increase the capacity and effectiveness of our Tribal Medication-Assisted Treatment program and incorporate cultural healing, practices, and activities for our AI/AN population. In order to achieve our goals, UIHS’ Tribal Opioid Response Project will begin to focus project activities through a comprehensive strategic plan by utilizing the expertise of our Tribal and community partners, cultural leaders, individuals with lived experiences with opioid use disorder and utilize the knowledge of our clinical service providers in medical and behavioral health. This plan will encompass the development of a strong cultural component which will allow our American Indian/Alaska Native population to build upon their inner strengths and reconnect with traditional teachings as a method to achieve recovery. Over 1,375 individuals will be served by this grant.